Why You Should Translate Your Corporate Training Into Different Languages
Translating your training content into multiple languages is the ideal way to communicate with your students in a way that maximizes comprehension and makes the learning process more accessible and effective for all parties involved.
Every company must administer some form of corporate training to its employees, and the size of a company’s corporate training will vary depending on the size of the company.
If you’re a smaller business based in a single location with minimal staff, you’ll likely craft your corporate training so that it exclusively addresses the needs of that particular staff.
However, if you are a company that is spread out across multiple regions or countries, with staff who hail from different parts of the world or who deal professionally with a variety of regions, then simply offering corporate training in only one language may not cut it.
Failing to address your workers in the language(s) that they naturally use to communicate can result in slower training completion times, substandard labor relations, and even workplace accidents and injuries.
If you want to propel your company into the best position to be in to operate globally with an attention to the specific and diverse needs of your staff and clientele, then translating your corporate training into more than one language is the right way to meet your targets and set your company up for success.
This article will explore the importance of thoughtfully overcoming cultural barriers and why it’s important to hire translators who can localize your corporate training.
The Benefits of Offering Multilingual Corporate Training
There are a number of benefits that come with offering corporate training in the languages that are most suitable to your employees and the other parties you do business with. It is a strong practice that takes into account the fact that everybody learns differently and may have a different background. More and more companies, whether they contain global divisions or are looking to expand into wider markets, ought to consider translating their corporate training into the languages that their employees need. Here are some ways that your company will benefit from adopting this practice:
Reduced Training Costs
If you’re only delivering your corporate training in English while many of the recipients of said training are non-native English speakers, then you’re going to need to present the training at a more moderate pace in order to ensure comprehension. The longer it takes your learners to complete the training, the more the training will cost you. By translating the training to a language that is easier for the recipient to understand, you can guarantee that you will accrue lower training costs.
Faster Completion Times
The cost of administering your corporate training and the amount of time the training takes to complete go hand in hand. It is important that training is understood by all your learners, especially training that addresses technical concepts and applications. “Every field has its own technical vocabulary,” writes FluentU. “You want to be absolutely sure your staff has a firm grasp on essential terminology to be successful in their position.” The easier you make your learning content to consume, the faster the completion time of your corporate training will be. You do not want students for whom English is not a first language struggling to mentally translate words and concepts that lack direct translations.
If you deliver your training online, as opposed to in-person, you can scale its scope to train thousands of learners in a short period of time. You can also follow up afterward with targeted microlearning courses, which deliver training in short bursts over a longer period of time, typically via mobile applications.
Providing versions of your corporate training that are delivered in your recipients’ native language has been shown to reduce the amount of workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities. OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “estimates that language barriers are a contributing factor in 25 percent of job-related accidents,” proving why allowing a learner to receive corporate training in the language they best understand is highly critical when it comes to workplace safety.
Training Industry reports that administering training in a learner’s native language resulted in a “significant increase in productivity and product quality.” When your corporate training courses are effectively translated, then when the learner engages with the course material they are primarily “focused on the subject matter, not on trying to interpret the material.” With the brain power required to interpret material in a language one isn’t a fluent speaker in and the problem of misinterpretation removed from the equation, the way has been cleared for your employees to be more productive.
Improved Labor Relations
Labor relations are proven to be better when language differences are accommodated and everyone is provided with the tools they need to do their job as best they can. For example, New York-based Wenner Bread Products decided to introduce a new strategy to tackle cultural barriers between English and Spanish speakers in their workplace. By making orientation training for all new hires available in both English and Spanish, the company observed not only a substantial decrease in injuries and illnesses, but improved labor relations with its Spanish-speaking workers as well.
Expanding Into Global Markets
The more linguistically diverse the training you’re administering to your workers is, the more equipped you are to develop a global content strategy—which is a growing interest for companies of all shapes and sizes, especially in a world that is more connected than ever before. Whether you already have an established relationship or you’re looking to expand into markets located in different regions across the globe, having your corporate training available in the appropriate languages is the ideal approach.
“Having staff members who speak key languages improves a business’s ability to negotiate effectively in international contexts and opens up new opportunities,” FluentU explains. By building global relationships and not limiting your company to a contained market merely based on language, you’re investing in your company’s success.
This will also enable you to simship, which is shorthand for “simultaneous shipment.” Simshipping involves distributed content to all your target markets in the appropriate languages at the same time, instead of rolling out your content in staggered intervals.
Considerations as You Translate Your Corporate Training
When you translate your corporate training into different languages, you don’t need us to inform you that it’s not simply a matter of copying and pasting your materials into Google Translate. Here are a few factors to keep in mind as you develop your translated corporate training content:
Localize Your Content
By localizing your training content as opposed to merely translating it, you’ll be paying heed to the contextual nuances of a language. Localizing your content ensures that context and the entire spirit of a message is considered during the translation process, to address a particular market in the way they naturally communicate. Read up on the differences between translation and localization in the context of a global ad campaign.
Hypothetically, if your brand message or slogan isn’t carefully localized, your words can end up having the exact opposite effect than the one that you’re intending. In some cases, brands whose campaigns have been mistranslated in certain markets have been forced to launch multimillion-dollar rebranding campaigns in order to amend their accidental mistranslations.
Hiring a localization expert from the particular population that you’re aiming to target with your training is a great way to localize your content efficiently.
Test Your Training on Different Devices
When text is translated from one language to another, it’s likely that its length will change. If your training is being administered through an online module or a mobile application, you’ll want to ensure that the updated text lengths don’t ’break’ your training interface, so to speak. You don’t want your content to be engulfed by white space, and on the other hand, you don’t want it to be too expansive that it doesn’t all fit on the screen.
Make Content Generic
As you’re authoring your training content, you certainly want to take lengths to ensure that it is dynamic and engaging, and that your recipients see themselves and their work reflected in the training, but you want to achieve this without being overly specific. Being too specific will make it harder to translate into different languages. Try to minimize references to cultural humor and situations that only specific audiences who are located in a specific region or share the same cultural associations will understand. It’s primarily the job of a localization expert to ensure that the content resonates with a specific region.
Hiring a Voice Actor to Perform Your Translated Training
When you need to hire a voice actor to read the script for your corporate training, you’re bound to find one on Voices. With Voices, you can narrow your search to find the voice actor who is specifically suited to your needs based on language, accent, and category of work, such as business or educational. Voices allows you to manage all of your voice acting jobs on the same site, so you can hire voice actors based all around the world who authentically speak a number of different languages without needing to toggle between different platforms or do specific casting.
Sign up for a Voices account to find voice actors in different languages to deliver your corporate training.